Thinkbox claims television impacts at an all-time high

TV advertising has hit record viewing levels, confounding predictions that the medium is doomed, according to television marketing body Thinkbox.

TV ads are viewed about 2 billion times each day in the UK, which is an all-time high.

A Thinkbox spokeswoman says: “We are watching more commercial television advertising than ever before.”

The body says BARB data for 2006 shows commercial impacts – which measure one member of a target audience viewing one commercial – have increased 1% on 2005.

Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps also predicts that impacts will continue to rise each year until 2012. She says the BARB data disproves the theory that increasing use of new TV technologies such as mobile and broadband, and viewing via personal video recorders (PVRs) will damage broadcast TV advertising.

Thinkbox says the BARB figures also indicate that 16to 24-year-olds increased their viewing of ads by 3.8% in 2006 “despite negative reports and predictions about TV viewing among youth audiences”. Meanwhile, ABC1 adult impacts grew by 0.6%, and housewives with children by 0.9%.

Growth has been driven by the switch to all forms of digital multi-channel TV, which 73.3% of UK homes have. Alps says the increases should “reassure” advertisers of the appeal and resilience of live broadcasting in the face of reports that TV would lose out to media such as the internet.

She says: “The commercial cake is still growing and we should not be surprised that analogue channels are losing share.” This loss of share, particularly by the non-commercial BBC channels, leads to her prediction that impacts will increase each year until 2012.

The BARB figures do not include television viewing via PVRs, which are in 8% of homes, or over mobile and broadband.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here